Back in December, Deputy Secretary Don Graves of the U.S. Department of Commerce came by the SFMade office for a listening session with local manufacturers hosted by California Manufacturing Technology Consulting and Manex.

A dozen Bay Area manufacturers came out to share their thoughts on the state of the sector and express their needs, particularly supply chain matching to source more materials locally, apprenticeship programs, and more trained workers to fill available positions.

Mr. Graves agreed and added his desire to see more coordination of commerce and housing policies to address labor shortages in high cost areas and better marketing of career opportunities in manufacturing.  He cited a Commerce Department study that indicated many people still equate manufacturing with century-old images of smokestacks, rather than envisioning the current state of the sector with its emphasis on technology and specialized roles in the workforce.